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Over the lantern at the prow, and cried,
Turning the corner of some reverend pile,
Some school or hospital of old renown,
Though haply none were coming, none were near,
"Hasten or slacken."

But at length Night fled;
And with her fled, scattering, the sons of Pleasure.
Star after star shot by, or, meteor-like,
Cross'd me and vanish'd-lost at once among
Those hundred Isles that tower majestically,
That rise abruptly from the water-mark,
Not with rough crag, but marble, and the work
Of noblest architects. I linger'd still;

Nor struck my threshold, till the hour was come
And past, when, flitting home in the grey light,
The young Bianca found her father's door, (52)
That door so often with a trembling hand,
So often-then so lately left ajar,
Shut; and, all terror, all perplexity,
Now by her lover urged, now by her love,
Fled o'er the waters to return no more.

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Turban'd, long-vested, and the cozening Jew,
In yellow hat and threadbare gaberdine,
Hurrying along. For, as the custom was,
The noblest sons and daughters of the State,
They of Patrician birth, the flower of Venice,
Whose names are written in the Book of Gold,
Were on that day to solemnize their nuptials.

At noon, a distant murmur through the crowd,
Rising and rolling on, announced their coming;
And never from the first was to be seen
Such splendor or such beauty. (54) Two and two
(The richest tapestry unroll'd before them),
First came the Brides in all their loveliness;
Each in her veil, and by two bride-maids follow'd,
Only less lovely, who behind her bore
The precious caskets that within contain'd
The dowry and the presents. On she moved,
Her eyes cast down, and holding in her hand
A fan, that gently waved, of ostrich-feathers.
Her veil, transparent as the gossamer, (55)

I Premi o sta.

Fell from beneath a starry diadem ;
And on her dazzling neck a jewel shone,
Ruby or diamond or dark amethyst;
A jewell'd chain, in many a winding wreath,
Wreathing her gold brocade.
Before the Churen,
That venerable Pile on the sea-brink, (56)
Another train they met, no strangers to them,
Brothers to some, and to the rest still dearer;
Each in his hand bearing his cap and plume,
And, as he walk'd, with modest dignity
Folding his scarlet mantle, his tabarro.

They join, they enter in, and, up the aisle Led by the full-voiced choir in bright procession, Range round the altar. In his vestments there

The Patriarch stands; and, while the anthem flows,
Who can look on unmoved?-mothers in secret
Rejoicing in the beauty of their daughters,
Sons in the thought of making them their own;
And they-array'd in youth and innocence,
Their beauty heighten'd by their hopes and fears.

At length the rite is ending. All fall down
In earnest prayer, all of all ranks together;
And, stretching out his hands, the holy man
Proceeds to give the general benediction;
When hark, a din of voices from without,
And shrieks and groans and outcries as in battle.
And lo, the door is burst, the curtain rent,
And armed ruffians, robbers from the deep,
Savage, uncouth, led on by Barbarigo,
And his six brothers in their coats of steel,
Are standing on the threshold! Statue-like,
Awhile they gaze on the fallen multitude,
Each with his sabre up, in act to strike;
Then, as at once recovering from the spell,
Rush forward to the altar, and as soon
Are gone again-amid no clash of arms
Bearing away the maidens and the treasures.

Where are they now?-plowing the distant waves
Standing triumphant. To the east they go,
Their sails all set, and they upon the deck
Steering for Istria; their accursed barks
(Well are they known, the galliot and the galley),(57)
Freighted with all that gives to life its value!
The richest argosies were poor to them!

Now might you see the matrons running wild Along the beach; the men half-arm'd and arming, One with a shield, one with a casque and spear; One with an axe hewing the mooring-chain Of some old pinnace. Not a raft, a plank, But on that day was drifting. In an hour Half Venice was afloat. But long before, Frantic with grief and scorning all control, The youths were gone in a light brigantine, Lying at anchor near the Arsenal; Each having sworn, and by the holy rood, To slay or to be slain.

And from the tower The watchman gives the signal. In the East A ship is seen, and making for the Port; Her flag St. Mark's.-And now she turns the point, Over the waters like a sea-bird flying!

Ha, 't is the same, 't is theirs! from stern to prow

Hung with green boughs, she comes, she comes, re- "T is Foscari, the Doge. And there is one,


All that was lost.

Coasting, with narrow search,
Friuli-like a tiger in his spring,
They had surprised the Corsairs where they lay
Sharing the spoil in blind security

And casting lots-had slain them, one and all,
All to the last, and flung them far and wide
Into the sea, their proper element;

Him first, as first in rank, whose name so long
Had hush'd the babes of Venice, and who yet,
Breathing a little, in his look retain'd
The fierceness of his soul.

Thus were the Brides
Lost and recover'd; and what now remain'd
But to give thanks? Twelve breast-plates and twelve


Flaming with gems and gold, the votive offerings
Of the young victors to their Patron-Saint,
Vow'd on the field of battle, were ere-long
Laid at his feet; (58) and to preserve for ever
The memory of a day so full of change,
From joy to grief, from grief to joy again,
Through many an age, as oft as it came round,
"T was held religiously with all observance.
The Doge resign'd his crimson for pure ermine;
And through the city in a stately barge (59)
Of gold, were borne, with songs and symphonies,
Twelve ladies young and noble. Clad they were
In bridal white with bridal ornaments,
Each in her glittering veil; and on the deck,
As on a burnish'd throne, they glided by;

No window or balcony but adorn'd
With hangings of rich texture, not a roof
But cover'd with beholders, and the air
Vocal with joy. Onward they went, their oars
Moving in concert with the harmony,
Through the Rialto (60) to the Ducal Palace
And at a banquet there, served with due honor,
Sate representing, in the eyes of all,
Eyes not unwet, I ween, with grateful tears,
Their lovely ancestors, the Brides of Venice.



LET us lift up the curtain, and observe,
What passes in that chamber. Now a sigh,
And now a groan, is heard. Then all is still.
Twenty are sitting as in judgment there; (61)
Men who have served their country, and grown grey
In governments and distant embassies,
Men eminent alike in war and peace;
Such as in effigy shall long adorn

A young man, lying at his feet, stretch'd out
In torture. "Tis his son, his only one;

"T is Giacomo, the blessing of his age,

(Say, has he lived for this?) accused of murder,
The murder of the Senator Donato.

Last night the proofs, if proofs they are, were dropt
Into the lion's mouth, the mouth of brass,
That gapes and gorges; and the Doge himself
Must sit and look on a beloved Son
Suffering the Question.

Twice, to die in peace,

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'Art thou not guilty?"-"No! Indeed I am not!""
But all is unavailing. In that Court

Groans are confessions; Patience, Fortitude,
The work of Magic; and, released, upheld,
For Condemnation, from his Father's lips
He hears the sentence, "Banishment to Candia:
Death, if he leaves it."

And the bark sets sail;
And he is gone from all he loves-for ever!
His wife, his boys, and his disconsolate parents!
Gone in the dead of night-unseen of any-
Without a word, a look of tenderness,
To be call'd up, when, in his lonely hours
He would indulge in weeping.

Like a ghost,

Day after day, year after year, he haunts
An ancient rampart, that o'erhangs the sea;
Gazing on vacancy, and hourly starting
To answer to the watch- -Alas, how changed
From him, the mirror of the Youth of Venice,
In whom the slightest thing, or whim or chance,
Did he but wear his doublet so and so,

All follow'd; at whose nuptials, when at length
He won that maid at once the fairest, noblest, (62)
A daughter of the House of Contarini,

The walls of Venice-to show what she has been! That House as old as Venice, now among

Their garb is black, and black the arras is,
And sad the general aspect. Yet their looks
Are calm, are cheerful; nothing there like grief,
Nothing or harsh or cruel. Still that noise,
That low and dismal moaning.

Half withdrawn,
A little to the left, sits one in crimson,
A venerable man, fourscore and upward.
Cold drops of sweat stand on his furrow'd brow.
His hands are clench'd; his eyes half-shut and glazed;
His shrunk and wither'd limbs rigid as marble.

Its ancestors in monumental brass

Numbering eight Doges-to convey her home,
The Bucentaur went forth; and thrice the Sun
Shone on the Chivalry, that, front to front,
And blaze on blaze reflecting, met and ranged
To tournay in St. Mark's.

But lo, at last,
He is recall'd: his heart

Messengers come.
Leaps at the tidings. He embarks: the boat
Springs to the oar, and back again he goes-
Into that very Chamber! there to lie

In his old resting-place, the bed of torture;
And thence look up (five long, long years of Grief
Have not killed either) on his wretched Sire,
Still in that seat as though he had not left it,
Immovable, enveloped in his mantle.

But now he comes, convicted of a crime
Great by the laws of Venice. Night and day,
Brooding on what he had been, what he was,
T was more than he could bear. His longing fits
Thicken'd upon him. His desire for home
Became a madness; and, resolved to go,
If but to die, in his despair he writes
A letter to Francesco, Duke of Milan,
Soliciting his influence with the State,

And drops it to be found.-"Would ye know all?
I have transgress'd, offended wilfully; (63)
And am prepared to suffer as I ought.
But let me, let me, if but for an instant
(Ye must consent for all of you are sons,
Most of you husbands, fathers), let me first
Indulge the natural feelings of a man,
And, ere I die, if such my sentence be,
Press to my heart ('t is all I ask of you)
My wife, my children—and my aged mother-
Say, is she yet alive?”

He is condemn'd

To go ere set of sun, go whence he came,
A banish'd man-and for a year to breathe
The vapor of a dungeon.-But his prayer
(What could they less ?) is granted.

In a hall
Open and crowded by the common rabble,
'Twas there a trembling Wife and her four Sons
Yet young, a Mother, borne along, bedridden,
And an old Doge, mustering up all his strength,
That strength how small! assembled now to meet
One so long lost, long mourn'd, one who for them
Had braved so much-death, and yet worse than

To meet him, and to part with him for ever!

Time and their heavy wrongs had changed them all; Him most! Yet when the Wife, the Mother look'd Again, 't was he himself, 't was Giacomo, Their only hope, and trust, and consolation! And all clung round him, weeping bitterly; Weeping the more, because they wept in vain.

Unnerved, unsettled in his mind from long And exquisite pain, he sobs aloud and cries Kissing the old Man's cheek, "Help me, my Father! Let me, I pray thee, live once more among you: Let me go home."-"My Son," returns the Doge, Mastering awhile his grief, "if I may still Call thee my Son, if thou art innocent, As I would fain believe," but, as he speaks, He falls, "submit without a murmur."

Night, That to the World brought revelry, to them Brought only food for sorrow. Giacomo Embark'd-to die; sent to an early grave For thee, Erizzo, whose death-bed confession, "He is most innocent! "T was I who did it!" Came when he slept in peace. The ship, that sail'd Swift as the winds with his recall to Honor, Bore back a lifeless corse. Generous as brave,

Affection, kindness, the sweet offices
Of love and duty, were to him as needful
As was his daily bread;-and to become
A byword in the meanest mouths of Venice,
Bringing a stain on those who gave him life,
On those, alas, now worse than fatherless-
To be proclaim'd a ruffian, a night-stabber,
He on whom none before had breathed reproach-
He lived but to disprove it. That hope lost,
Death follow'd. From the hour he went, he spoke

And in his dungeon, when he laid him down,
He sunk to rise no more. Oh, if there be
Justice in Heaven, and we are assured there is,
A day must come of ample Retribution!

Then was thy cup, old Man, full to o'erflowing. But thou wert yet alive; and there was one, The soul and spring of all that Enmity, Who would not leave thee; fastening on thy flank, Hungering and thirsting, still unsatisfied;

One of a name illustrious as thine own!
One of the Ten! one of the Invisible Three! (64)
"T was Loredano.

When the whelps were gone,
He would dislodge the Lion from his den;
And, leading on the pack he long had led,
The miserable pack that ever howl'd
Against fallen Greatness, moved that Foscari
Be Doge no longer; urging his great age,
His incapacity and nothingness;
Calling a Father's sorrows in his chamber
Neglect of duty, anger, contumacy.

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"I am most willing to retire," said Foscari: But I have sworn, and cannot of myself. Do with me as ye please."

He was deposed, He, who had reign'd so long and gloriously; His ducal bonnet taken from his brow, His robes stript off, his ring, that ancient symbol, Broken before him. But now nothing moved The meekness of his soul. All things alike! Among the six that came with the decree, Foscari saw one he knew not, and inquired His name. "I am the son of Marco Memmo." "Ah," he replied, "thy father was my friend."

And now he goes. "It is the hour and past. I have no business here."-" But wilt thou not Avoid the gazing crowd? That way is private." "No! as I enter'd, so will I retire." And, leaning on his staff, he left the Palace, His residence for four-and-thirty years, By the same staircase he came up in splendor, The staircase of the Giants. Turning round, When in the court below, he stopt and said

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It rang his knell.

But whence the deadly hate
That caused all this-the hate of Loredano?
It was a legacy his Father left him,
Who, but for Foscari, had reign'd in Venice,
And, like the venom in the serpent's bag,
Gather'd and grew! Nothing but turn'd to venom!
In vain did Foscari sue for peace, for friendship,
Offering in marriage his fair Isabel.

He changed not; with a dreadful piety,
Studying revenge! listening alone to those

Who talk'd of vengeance; grasping by the hand
Those in their zeal (and none, alas, were wanting)
Who came to tell him of another Wrong,
Done or imagined. When his father died,
"Twas whisper'd in his ear, "He died by poison!"
He wrote it on the tomb ('t is there in marble)

Such as a shipwreck'd man might hope to build,
Urged by the love of home-when I descended
Two long, long days' silence, suspense on board,
It was to offer at thy fount, Valclusa,
Entering the arched Cave, to wander where
Petrarch had wander'd, in a trance to sit
Where in his peasant-dress he loved to sit,
Musing, reciting-on some rock moss-grown,
Or the fantastic root of some old fig-tree,
That drinks the living waters as they stream
Over their emerald-bed; and could I now
Neglect to visit Arqua, (69) where, at last,
When he had done and settled with the world,
When all the illusions of his Youth were fled,
Indulged perhaps too long, cherish'd too fondly,
He came for the conclusion? Half-way up
He built his house, (70) whence as by stealth he caught,

And in his ledger-book-(66) among his debtors-Among the hills, a glimpse of busy life,

Enter'd the name "FRANCESCO FOSCARI,"
And added, "For the murder of my Father."
Leaving a blank-to be fill'd up hereafter.
When Foscari's noble heart at length gave way,
He took the volume from the shelf again
Calmly, and with his pen fill'd up the blank,
Inscribing, "He has paid me."

Ye who sit,
Brooding from day to day, from day to day
Chewing the bitter cud, and starting up

As though the hour was come to whet your fangs,
And, like the Pisan,' gnaw the hairy scalp
Of him who had offended-if ye must,
Sit and brood on; but oh! forbear to teach
The lesson to your children.


THERE is, within three leagues and less of Padua
(The Paduan student knows it, honors it),
A lonely tomb-stone in a mountain-churchyard;
And I arrived there as the sun declined
Low in the west. The gentle airs, that breathe
Fragrance at eve, were rising, and the birds
Singing their farewell-song-the very song
They sung the night that tomb received a tenant;
When, as alive, clothed in his Canon's habit
And, slowly winding down the narrow path
He came to rest there. Nobles of the land,
Princes and prelates mingled in his train,
Anxious by any act, while yet they could,
To catch a ray of glory by reflection;

That soothed, not stirr'd.-But knock, and enter in.
This was his chamber. "T is as when he left it;

As if he now were busy in his garden.
And this his closet. Here he sate and read.
This was his chair; and in it, unobserved,
Reading, or thinking of his absent friends,
He pass'd away as in a quiet slumber.

Peace to this region! Peace to all who dwell here!
They know his value-every coming step,
That gathers round the children from their play,
Would tell them if they knew not.-But could aught,
Ungentle or ungenerous, spring up

Where he is sleeping; where, and in an age

Of savage warfare and blind bigotry,

He cultured all that could refine, exalt; (71)
Leading to better things?


If ever you should come to Modena,
Where among other trophies may be seen
Tassoni's bucket (in its chain it hangs, (72)
Within that reverend tower, the Guirlandina),
Stop at a Palace near the Reggio-gate,
Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini,
Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
Will long detain you-but, before you go,
Enter the house-forget it not, I pray-
And look awhile upon a picture there.

"Tis of a Lady in her earliest youth,
The last of that illustrious family;

And from that hour have kindred spirits flock'd (67) Done by Zampieri (73)—but by whom I care not.

From distant countries, from the north, the south,

To see where he is laid.

Twelve years ago,
When I descended the impetuous Rhone,
Its vineyards of such great and old renown, (68)
Its castles, each with some romantic tale,
Vanishing fast-the pilot at the stern,
He who had steer'd so long, standing aloft,
His eyes on the white breakers, and his hands
On what at once served him for oar and rudder,
A huge misshapen plank-the bark itself
Frail and uncouth, launch'd to return no more,

1 Count Ugolino.

He, who observes it-ere he passes on,
Gazes his fill, and comes and comes again,
That he may call it up, when far away.

She sits, inclining forward as to speak,
Her lips half-open, and her finger up,

As though she said "Beware!" her vest of gold
Broider'd with flowers, and clasp'd from head to foot,
An emerald-stone in every golden clasp;
And on her brow, fairer than alabaster,
A coronet of pearls.

But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
The overflowings of an innocent heart-

It haunts me still, though many a year has fled, Like some wild melody!

Alone it hangs

Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion,
An oaken-chest, half-eaten by the worm,
But richly carved by Antony of Trent
With scripture-stories from the Life of Christ;
A chest that came from Venice, and had held
The ducal robes of some old Ancestor-
That by the way-it may be true or false-
But don't forget the picture; and you will not,
When you have heard the tale they told me there.

She was an only child-her name Ginevra, The joy, the pride of an indulgent Father; And in her fifteenth year became a bride, Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,

Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.

Just as she looks there in her bridal dress, She was all gentleness, all gaiety, Her pranks the favorite theme of every tongue. But now the day was come, the day, the hour; Now, frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time, The nurse, that ancient lady, preach'd decorum ; And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.

Great was the joy; but at the Nuptial Feast, When all sate down, the Bride herself was wanting. Nor was she to be found! Her Father cried, "Tis but to make a trial of our love!" And fill'd his glass to all; but his hand shook, And soon from guest to guest the panic spread. Twas but that instant she had left Francesco, Laughing and looking back, and flying still, Her ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger. But now, alas, she was not to be found; Nor from that hour could anything be guess'd, But that she was not!

Weary of his life, Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking, Flung it away in battle with the Turk. Orsini lived and long might you have seen An old man wandering as in quest of something, Something he could not find-he knew not what. When he was gone, the house remained awhile Silent and tenantless-then went to strangers.

Full fifty years were past, and all forgotten, When on an idle day, a day of search

'Mid the old lumber in the Gallery,

When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there, Fasten'd her down for ever!



"Twas night; the noise and bustle of the day
Were o'er. The mountebank no longer wrought
Miraculous cures he and his stage were gone;
And he who, when the crisis of his tale
Came, and all stood breathless with hope and fear,
Sent round his cap; and he who thrumm'd his wire
And sang, with pleading look and plaintive strain
Melting the passenger. Thy thousand cries,'
So well portray'd and by a son of thine,
Whose voice had swell'd the hubbub in his youth,
Were hush'd, Bologna; silence in the streets,
The squares, when hark, the clattering of fleet hoofs'
And soon a courier, posting as from far,
Housing and holster, boot and belted coat
And doublet, stain'd with many a various soil,
Stopt and alighted. "T was where hangs aloft
That ancient sign, the pilgrim, welcoming
All who arrive there, all perhaps save those
Clad like himself, with staff and scallop-shell,
Those on a pilgrimage: and now approach'd
Wheels, through the lofty porticoes resounding,
Arch beyond arch, a shelter or a shade

As the sky changes. To the gate they came;
And, ere the man had half his story done,
Mine host received the Master-one long used
To sojourn among strangers, everywhere
(Go where he would, along the wildest track)
Flinging a charm that shall not soon be lost,
And leaving footsteps to be traced by those
Who love the haunts of Genius; one who saw,
Observed, nor shunn'd the busy scenes of life,
But mingled not, and, 'mid the din, the stir,
Lived as a separate Spirit.

Much had pass'd
Since last we parted; and those five short years-
Much had they told! His clustering locks were turn'd
Grey; nor did aught recall the Youth that swam
From Sestos to Abydos. Yet his voice,

Still it was sweet; still from his eye the thought
Flash'd lightning-like, nor linger'd on the way,
Waiting for words. Far, far into the night
We sate, conversing-no unwelcome hour,
The hour we met; and, when Aurora rose,
Rising, we climbed the rugged Apennine.

Well I remember how the golden sun
Fill'd with its beams the unfathomable gulfs,
As on we travell'd, and along the ridge,

That mouldering chest was noticed; and 't was said 'Mid groves of cork and cistus and wild fig,

By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra,
"Why not remove it from its lurking-place?"
Twas done as soon as said; but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton,
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold.
All else had perish'd-save a wedding-ring,
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both,

There then had she found a grave! Within that chest had she conceal'd herself, Flattering with joy, the happiest of the happy;

His motley household came-Not last nor least,
Battista, who upon the moonlight-sea

Of Venice, had so ably, zealously
Served, and, at parting, flung his oar away
To follow through the world; who without stain
Had worn so long that honorable badge,

1 See the Cries of Bologna, as drawn by Annibal Carracci. He was of very humble origin; and, to correct his brother's vanity, once sent him a portrait of their father, the tailor, threading his needle.

2 The principal gondolier, il fante di poppa, was almost always in the confidence of his master, and employed on occasions that required judgment and address.

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